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Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical

Volume 42, Issue 4, October 2016

Ellen Bernal
Pages 34-54
DOI: 10.5840/traddisc201642431

Health Care Ethics Consultation: Personal Knowledge and Apprenticeship

The intellectual history of Healthcare Ethics Consultation embraces objectivism and its emphasis on knowledge that has already been achieved. As a result, official descriptions, standards, and guidelines for this practice, while valuable, ordinarily exclude consideration of the ethics consultant in the process of knowing. Narratives of complex cases, including those that have led to perceived errors, are signs that point to Michael Polanyi’s notion of personal knowledge. The writings of Polanyi, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and William H. Poteat support a paradigm shift to “post-critical thinking,” opening new avenues for ethics consultation teaching and learning, particularly in the setting of clinical internships.

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